How often do you request "compensation" for unsatisfying service, etc.?

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It's big in the airline industry, but I haven't seen this come up with other industries (except maybe restaurants). Let's leave the travel-related compensation requests to FT, but I was curious how often other people request compensation (coupon, reduced charge, full comps) when something doesn't go right with an order.

What factors play into your decision of whether to seek compensation? (e.g. cost, whether you deal with the company on a regular basis, perceived level of injustice, ease of requesting compensation, etc.)

How do you go about doing it? Do you email the company, call them, message their twitter account, dispute the charge with your credit card company? If the issue happened in person, do you try to get them to resolve it right there?

How successful are you in getting something? If you do get something, are you generally happy about the result?

What made me think of this is I ordered from Grubhub and the restaurant was supposed to deliver by 10 PM. At 10:30 they weren't there yet and they weren't answering their phone. I begrudgingly through what I had left in the fridge into a poor dinner and went to sleep at 11. At 11:15 they rang the doorbell with the food, which I took. I contacted Grubhub the next day asking for a refund (which I thought was fair) and they proceeded to tell me that since the food was in fact delivered they could not refund me, but they could offer my 10% off my next meal from them. They sent me a coupon which expired very quickly (don't remember the exact timing). I proceeded to dispute with my credit card company which permanently took the charge off immediately. I do not like when they do that - I want them to go back to the merchant and get the money back from them instead of eating the charge themselves, but I guess I got what I want in the end.

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marginoferror said:   What made me think of this is I ordered from Grubhub and the restaurant was supposed to deliver by 10 PM. At 10:30 they weren't there yet and they weren't answering their phone. I begrudgingly through what I had left in the fridge into a poor dinner and went to sleep at 11. At 11:15 they rang the doorbell with the food, which I took. I contacted Grubhub the next day asking for a refund (which I thought was fair) and they proceeded to tell me that since the food was in fact delivered they could not refund me, but they could offer my 10% off my next meal from them.
 

  It sucks, no doubt. You would have had a much better case if you had refused the delivery at 11:15.

Hmmm...I would define the industry as anything that expects a 'tip'.
If they don't expect a tip, I don't expect compensation.

It's big in the airlines because they are the only ones that will do things such as OVERBOOK their supply and not be penalized for it. In addition, missing quite possibily the only thing that can cause a downpour of additional costs to you (the customer) such as:
1) 1 or more multiple nights of unplanned stay in a hotel
2) multiple meals having to eat out
3) Additional costs such as taxi's, lost work time, etc..

I can't forsee "compensation" related for many other things in life, because most other things have alternatives. For example, if a rental car company overbooked their cars (which I've never heard of to be honest, maybe overbook a certain model car) - There's plenty of alternatives usually. You can go with Budget/Avis /Enterprise/Others. In addition, there are other modes of transport such as friend, taxi, or uber.

Only other times you might get "comped" is for errors. Comped for an incorrectly applied fee, etc...

That said, I had an issue with an airline once where I had a legitimate complaint, calling did nothing. I got "compensation" after sending a letter in the mail to corporate. 

justignoredem said:   It's big in the airlines because they are the only ones that will do things such as OVERBOOK their supply and not be penalized for it. In addition, missing quite possibily the only thing that can cause a downpour of additional costs to you (the customer) such as:
1) 1 or more multiple nights of unplanned stay in a hotel
2) multiple meals having to eat out
3) Additional costs such as taxi's, lost work time, etc..

I can't forsee "compensation" related for many other things in life, because most other things have alternatives. For example, if a rental car company overbooked their cars (which I've never heard of to be honest, maybe overbook a certain model car) - There's plenty of alternatives usually. You can go with Budget/Avis /Enterprise/Others. In addition, there are other modes of transport such as friend, taxi, or uber.

Only other times you might get "comped" is for errors. Comped for an incorrectly applied fee, etc...

That said, I had an issue with an airline once where I had a legitimate complaint, calling did nothing. I got "compensation" after sending a letter in the mail to corporate. 

 
hotels, car rental companies, doctors offices all overbook due to no-shows. 

tante said:   
justignoredem said:   It's big in the airlines because they are the only ones that will do things such as OVERBOOK their supply and not be penalized for it. In addition, missing quite possibily the only thing that can cause a downpour of additional costs to you (the customer) such as:
1) 1 or more multiple nights of unplanned stay in a hotel
2) multiple meals having to eat out
3) Additional costs such as taxi's, lost work time, etc..

I can't forsee "compensation" related for many other things in life, because most other things have alternatives. For example, if a rental car company overbooked their cars (which I've never heard of to be honest, maybe overbook a certain model car) - There's plenty of alternatives usually. You can go with Budget/Avis /Enterprise/Others. In addition, there are other modes of transport such as friend, taxi, or uber.

Only other times you might get "comped" is for errors. Comped for an incorrectly applied fee, etc...

That said, I had an issue with an airline once where I had a legitimate complaint, calling did nothing. I got "compensation" after sending a letter in the mail to corporate. 

 
hotels, car rental companies, doctors offices all overbook due to no-shows. 

  Lol, hey Doc, you were late.  I need a discount.

 

justignoredem said:   It's big in the airlines because they are the only ones that will do things such as OVERBOOK their supply and not be penalized for it. In addition, missing quite possibily the only thing that can cause a downpour of additional costs to you (the customer) such as:
1) 1 or more multiple nights of unplanned stay in a hotel
2) multiple meals having to eat out
3) Additional costs such as taxi's, lost work time, etc..

I can't forsee "compensation" related for many other things in life, because most other things have alternatives. For example, if a rental car company overbooked their cars (which I've never heard of to be honest, maybe overbook a certain model car) - There's plenty of alternatives usually. You can go with Budget/Avis /Enterprise/Others. In addition, there are other modes of transport such as friend, taxi, or uber.

Only other times you might get "comped" is for errors. Comped for an incorrectly applied fee, etc...

That said, I had an issue with an airline once where I had a legitimate complaint, calling did nothing. I got "compensation" after sending a letter in the mail to corporate. 

You have flights and cars backwards. The penalties for oversold flights (involuntary de-boarding) are stiff. That's why they offer comp for voluntary bumps on oversold flights so that they don't have to make the mandatory large payments for kicking someone off an oversold flight. The exception is weather related delays which the airline has no control over.

Cars there is no penalty for not having one available, or even for refusing to honor the "reserved" rates just because they feel like it.
If they run out, then demand is likely also high at all the other rental agencies in the airport and any available vehicles will be at heavily marked up rates, involving a large monetary loss for the customer.

The hotels and food for flight delay is true, but less of a factor for some of us. With CSR, for example, my food and lodging would be covered from the weather flight delay. Its more the missed appointments/vacation time for missed work that's an issue.

The biggest compensation I remember receiving in recent years is on hotel laundry. I was overseas working long hours and brought one pair of pajamas, fully expecting to do expense laundry at the hotel since it was a long trip (3 weeks IIRC). Had it all dry cleaned (was the only service provided, and company approved it) and cost over a hundred bucks. Lo and behold I got everything back except for my pajamas, and long story short it was extremely difficult to sleep through the night (bed had rough sheets, temperature was all over the place etc..) and I asked them if they could help me out. No place was open during the evening, and I couldn't leave the office to buy clothes during the day. Couldn't find the laundry manager for two days straight and I only had 4 hours of sleep, so I ended up talking to the hotel's assistant manager (it was a chain). He was extremely apologetic, fully comped the laundry, ripped up the laundry receipt and said it was unacceptable that they lost my clothes and the laundry manager was nowhere to be found. I got back to the hotel room that night and there was a brand new set of absurdly comfortable PJs waiting for me. I left them a hand written letter noting the amazing service the assistant manager provided and left it with the GM. I get home and he sends me an email:

"I have this morning been given your letter regarding your experiences over the last three weeks.

Many thanks for taking the time to provide an insight into our current service levels. My initial apologies for the team being so inconsistent in the delivery of what are in reality are basic services to our guests.

What is obvious from your comments was this poor service was then compounded by the poor quality of complaint management on behalf of [redacted].

I would like to look into the matter further with the relevant personnel and will come back to you with a response."

I've gone back to that hotel multiple times since then without a hitch, and only because they did such a stellar job addressing my concerns.

Just 1 pair of pjs? I was half expecting you to say in the final email that they comped your whole stay.

Sitting in the airport for 7 hours extra netted ~$2000 of flight credits one time for voluntary bump of 3 people on a southwest flight. Has to be the best compensation i have received, although it wasn't really a "complaint" type compensation.

We had reserved the 3 tickets with ~$200 worth of points total (~6000 rapid reward points each for 2 of them, the third ticket was free from a companion pass).

My biggest stories around comps is in hotels. If something goes very badly, I'll ask the front desk manager to make it right. Firm politeness is incredibly important.

One story was as I was staying at a hotel, the hot water heaters went out, so showers were ice cold. They decided to replace all the tanks (at once) with tankless heaters. They thought it would get done in a day, but it stretched on for nearly a week as the contractor had problems. I told them that I would have stayed at another hotel if they had notified me that they were going to do this kind of maintenance as we booked and/or arrived. They offered to put us up in another hotel or comp the days when the water was cold. We put up with the cold water to get nearly $1000 off the bill.

Bend3r said:   
 
Cars there is no penalty for not having one available, or even for refusing to honor the "reserved" rates just because they feel like it.
If they run out, then demand is likely also high at all the other rental agencies in the airport and any available vehicles will be at heavily marked up rates, involving a large monetary loss for the customer.

 

  thats why I always make reservations at two agencies. No penalty for noshow. I also book thru costco, fabulous rates. My rentals are almost always around holidays and i've never had a problem getting a car (I did face a YUUGE line at BOS Avis, registered a membership on my phone and went downstairs to the loyalty line)
=12.8pxWhat made me think of this is I ordered from Grubhub and the restaurant was supposed to deliver by 10 PM.
I've given up on delivery, especially with 3rd party, just go get it my self. The only thing i'd have delivered is pizza, and only from a big chain and definitely not on super bowl or any other big event, and order early enough for a 30 min buffer
How do you go about doing it? Do you email the company, call them, message their twitter account, dispute the charge with your credit card company? If the issue happened in person, do you try to get them to resolve it right there?
Ask for a manager in person. If it's time sensitive, i pay then dispute with my CC. Most importantly, if it's not a YUGE sum of money , I wouldn't sweat it and just decide if i want to spend time trolling them. It never hurts to ask for something even if you're not entitled to it.

I like the phrase "You know this is unacceptable, right?" It usually gets things moving in the right direction rather quickly. Also never, ever yell.

You poor dear...It's good to see you lived through this terrible injustice.  45 minutes you say? Please....

peachywink said:   You poor dear...It's good to see you lived through this terrible injustice.  45 minutes you say? Please....
  45 mins is an eternity when you hungry

Where do you see 45 min? According to OP they were 75 min late.

Nowadays, a good way to get compensation is also to take it to social media if you cannot get in touch with a manager with power to make it right.

For hotel grievances, we were once put in a very stinky smoking room despite our reservation being for a non-smoking room. Went down to the desk and asked if we could be moved to another room. No equivalent room available, sorry you're SoL. Went 5 min through the this is unacceptable! But Ma'am there's just nothing I can do. Finally I asked her to check again if there are upgrade rooms available while casually pulling out my tripadvisor app ready to post a 1-star review warning people that they don't care about nonsmoking preferences. I'm not sure if it was because of it but before I could finish posting it, a suite became available.

Airlines also monitor their twitter feeds and facebook pages constantly. My brother got bumped once and tweeted @AmericanAir, got a direct message from American Airlines rep within 2 min, explained his situation politely, and got a very generous compensation from the exchange without even having to get to the counter and go through the huge line.

marginoferror said:   It's big in the airline industry, but I haven't seen this come up with other industries (except maybe restaurants). Let's leave the travel-related compensation requests to FT, but I was curious how often other people request compensation (coupon, reduced charge, full comps) when something doesn't go right with an order.

What factors play into your decision of whether to seek compensation? (e.g. cost, whether you deal with the company on a regular basis, perceived level of injustice, ease of requesting compensation, etc.)

How do you go about doing it? Do you email the company, call them, message their twitter account, dispute the charge with your credit card company? If the issue happened in person, do you try to get them to resolve it right there?

How successful are you in getting something? If you do get something, are you generally happy about the result?

What made me think of this is I ordered from Grubhub and the restaurant was supposed to deliver by 10 PM. At 10:30 they weren't there yet and they weren't answering their phone. I begrudgingly through what I had left in the fridge into a poor dinner and went to sleep at 11. At 11:15 they rang the doorbell with the food, which I took. I contacted Grubhub the next day asking for a refund (which I thought was fair) and they proceeded to tell me that since the food was in fact delivered they could not refund me, but they could offer my 10% off my next meal from them. They sent me a coupon which expired very quickly (don't remember the exact timing). I proceeded to dispute with my credit card company which permanently took the charge off immediately. I do not like when they do that - I want them to go back to the merchant and get the money back from them instead of eating the charge themselves, but I guess I got what I want in the end.

  
I got something like $60 in free meals from Postmates for saying the food was cold. I have not had luck with Grubhub like delivery only services (Eat24) for obvious errors. Those companies have little sway with the restaurant and can't force them to fix things. Eat24 has only offered me $2 coupons for messed up orders  (which you can get anyway). They just said they would forward my complaint to the restaurant. After several incidents like that I quit using them.

If you have Caviar in your area it is the closest thing to an ideal delivery service but you pay for it. (They hire their own drivers and take full responsibility for errors). As food delivery places are starting to wash out, I pretty much only use Caviar now.
 

fwuser12 said:   
marginoferror said:   What made me think of this is I ordered from Grubhub and the restaurant was supposed to deliver by 10 PM. At 10:30 they weren't there yet and they weren't answering their phone. I begrudgingly through what I had left in the fridge into a poor dinner and went to sleep at 11. At 11:15 they rang the doorbell with the food, which I took. I contacted Grubhub the next day asking for a refund (which I thought was fair) and they proceeded to tell me that since the food was in fact delivered they could not refund me, but they could offer my 10% off my next meal from them.
  It sucks, no doubt. You would have had a much better case if you had refused the delivery at 11:15.

  
Actually, his best play (from long experience in SF) would have been to accept delivery and then say the food was cold due to the delay. They can't really argue... they know it was over an hour late.

Scale and culpability matter. For me to bother to ask for compensation, it's got to be above a certain amount and solidly under the vendors control.

I can't remember the last time I had a serious issue with a hotel. Maybe never. As for airlines, it's typically weather and not their fault. For screw ups that are under their control, I usually get a voucher or some miles. I am pretty good at handling this kind of thing in the moment, so maybe my outcomes are better and I end up not needing to complain as often. I also tend to avoid situations where the service expectations are low, like ultra low cost carriers ULCCs and cheap hotels. If you exclusively fly Spirit and stay at 1* hotels, I'll bet you're going to be complaining a lot

As for oversales, they're my friend, not my enemy, I have a flexible schedule and consider getting VDB comp a jackpot, not a disaster.

Powza said:   Where do you see 45 min? According to OP they were 75 min late.

It was alternative math.
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8LaT5Iiwo4




You're sitting in a chair, in the Sky.

Just from the title, I thought OP had hired a call girl.

I can appreciate the frustration.  

However, the new offer/situation was presented at 11:15 without being actually said: Yes, I am late, but do you want the food?  

By accepting the food, it's accepting the new agreement along with the new and less desired conditions (food was late, cold, etc.).



 

Due to working late with coworkers, My wife ordered a bunch of sandwiches last night from a major chain's website. An hour later, no sandwiches have been delivered. she calls the store and they said the workplace was outside delivery zone but no one bothered to call her and tell her. Compensation??

rufflesinc said:   Due to working late with coworkers, My wife ordered a bunch of sandwiches last night from a major chain's website. An hour later, no sandwiches have been delivered. she calls the store and they said the workplace was outside delivery zone but no one bothered to call her and tell her. Compensation??
  
Was the order paid?  If not, then probably not... (contract not established)

rufflesinc said:   Due to working late with coworkers, My wife ordered a bunch of sandwiches last night from a major chain's website. An hour later, no sandwiches have been delivered. she calls the store and they said the workplace was outside delivery zone but no one bothered to call her and tell her. Compensation??
 So a major chain and their ordering system can't determine whether they deliver to a particular area?  What kind of cr@ppy ordering system is that? 

atikovi said:   Just from the title, I thought OP had hired a call girl.
  Don't even get me started on that unsatisfying "service."

My cousin just put new tires on his car and they told him 2 hours and it took 4 hours, he asked for a discount, they gave him an additional 10% off.

If I have a complaint I just ask them nicely if there is anything they can do for me.

Quite often there is.

If they say no I let it go.
If the complaint was big enough though, I would consider how they dealt with my complaint, if I had the option to do business with them again.

Most people are too stupid to even consider this, and end up just giving their money away.

The squeaky wheel....

brokelivin said:   My cousin just put new tires on his car and they told him 2 hours and it took 4 hours, he asked for a discount, they gave him an additional 10% off.
  never wait around for tires to be put on

I always let companies know of less than acceptable service, they cannot improve if you don't.

Hotel at Niagara Falls. Reserved certain view on range of floors with possible upgrade. Got floor outside of range, worse view, no upgrades. After we got home complained, got free upgrade within 12 months. Wrote to GM saying not coming back in 12 months, and no excuse for outside what we paid for. Got 100% refund of points we paid. Same trip, restaurant service and portions unacceptable. Got offered full credit next visit, they agreed to give credit for chain and we used it a year later near home.

Hotel in Florida had missing smoke detector, lights did not work right.., "Can you legally rent room with non-working smoke detector?" Got points back plus more points.

Airline cancelled flight due to weather, no rebooting for 2 days, so vacation ruined. Full refund. Asked if it was normal to ship bags on earlier flight, say they would not fill out baggage lost forms "because you did not fly", and not return them for 2 days.  Pointed out that no forms meant no reporting in lost bag statistics.  $200 in credit.

Almost never say "give me x", I inform and wait. Family says I am the king of squeaky wheels.

Took relative to doctor. Shoddy care. Doctor had pads with preprinted social media feedback addresses. He probably regrets doing that now...

There's a fine line between complaining about the smallest lapses in service and being an a**h***. I generally only bring something up if it significantly impacts my experience and an attempt was not made to rectify it.

Life's too short to find fault with everything.

It's pretty rare for me.

A friend just had to call AAA a couple days ago for a flat tire - they came and inflated it, then the guys said "ill just add some a little more air" and proceeded to pump in more and the tire completely exploded with his head a few feet away. The force did a real number knocking the front bumper panel out of place and cracking the grill, etc. (from pics there were bits of plastic everywhere). Then the guy sits there for hours trying to force her to sign a waiver of all damage and acknowledging 'her awareness and liability that damage may happen in the course of service'. We thankfully schooled her away from signing anything at that point. She's been trying to get AAA to resolve since.

Additionally, this was a Sunday afternoon, so if they had just thrown the donut on or not blown up the tire, she could have still gone and gotten a replacement that day...

I think it's rare for a real screw up, but when they happen, as consumers we really need to do everything we can to force the company to make it right.

BostonOne said:   There's a fine line between complaining about the smallest lapses in service and being an a**h***. I generally only bring something up if it significantly impacts my experience and an attempt was not made to rectify it.

Life's too short to find fault with everything.

  I agree with this. Especially if there is a direct monetary value associated--if it's just a few bucks, I let it slide and take mental note. On the flip side, I've left a comment once about a timeshare stay where the bathroom was not cleaned very well (dust and long hair from previous people) and we got comped all of the points we paid for the entire stay. I wasn't expecting anything, and didn't even really pursue it at all. It was a nice surprise, I guess. I believe this was through TripAdvisor reviews. The process took a couple of months, but we got all 180k Marriott points back.

I ordered a papa johns pizza and paid online. When I got there, they insisted that I haven't paid. I called customer service, they resolved the problem, and they gave me a free large pizza coupon code for next time. But they had to make a new pizza, not giving me the old one. I don't know what happened to the old one, they either ate it themselves or throw it away.

TheDealMaker said:   I ordered a papa johns pizza and paid online. When I got there, they insisted that I haven't paid. I called customer service, they resolved the problem, and they gave me a free large pizza coupon code for next time. But they had to make a new pizza, not giving me the old one. I don't know what happened to the old one, they either ate it themselves or throw it away.
  This happened to me, got a free 2 liter out of it.

I write a yelp review while still in the restaurant, the manager comes out minutes later and gives me the replacement and free meal for that.

Amazon. If I don't get my Prime orders in two days(whatever date is "guaranteed" at check out), I contact customer service and complain. I ask for a one month extension on my Prime membership and have got it a few times.
Please note: I do not do this for weather related issues. I live outside Boston and snow delays are what they are.

gremlins718 said:   I write a yelp review while still in the restaurant, the manager comes out minutes later and gives me the replacement and free meal for that.
  how passive aggressive of you

Skipping 32 Messages...
seawolf21 said:   I request compensation for unsatisfactory service all the time but wife ignores my requests.
  she's probably tired from her boyfriend



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